To wrest Gurdaspur from BJP, Congress relies on old warhorse Sukhjinder Randhawa : The Tribune India

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To wrest Gurdaspur from BJP, Congress relies on old warhorse Sukhjinder Randhawa

4-time MLA has old contacts in Hindu-dominated seats

To wrest Gurdaspur from BJP, Congress relies on old warhorse Sukhjinder Randhawa

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa



Tribune News Service

Ravi Dhaliwal

Gurdaspur, April 29

The Congress has opted for the experience and political sagacity of former Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa while naming him as its candidate for the Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency.

Despite his disinclination to contest the poll, Randhawa wilted under sustained pressure piled on him by senior AICC office- bearers, including Rahul Gandhi.

The party’s internal surveys also proved that he was an “electable candidate” and hence had the potential to wrest the seat from the BJP.

He is a leader who is known to preside over his own brand of politics. He is a four-time MLA, once from Fatehgarh Churian and thrice from Dera Baba Nanak.

Randhawa’s stature increased many fold after he was appointed AICC Rajasthan In-charge in December 2022.

Ever since he won his first election from Fatehgarh Churian in 2002, he has manoeuvered numerous crests and troughs.

His first term as MLA was marked by brashness and brazenness. His temper was susceptible and he would throw a tantrum here, there and everywhere. He, however, steadily learnt the tricks of his trade and by the time he became the Deputy CM, he had developed a political maturity which was valued by his cabinet colleagues. All of his old repulsive traits disappeared and with the passage of time he had reinvented himself as a political leader of some repute.

He remained the chief of the Gurdaspur Congress Committee when Pathankot city was a part of Gurdaspur district. This means he has old contacts in the Hindu seats of Bhoa, Pathankot and Sujanpur. He will now be looking to reignite old friendships.

Known for his proximity to Capt Amarinder Singh, he developed differences with his old boss to the extent where he went all out to get him removed as the CM.

Rahul Gandhi rewarded him with the Home portfolio in CM Charanjit Singh Channi’s ministry for being instrumental in doing away with a “BJP-oriented Congress CM.”

Senior leaders say Randhawa is in the good books of the senior AICC leaders because he has never disobeyed their diktats nor resented any decision, even if it went against him. When Capt Amarinder was unseated, the Congress had almost named him the CM. However, when Rahul Gandhi announced the name of Charanjit Channi, Randhawa never protested and instead exhibited a sense of calmness.

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#BJP #Congress #Gurdaspur #Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa


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